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Skills and Characteristics of Mental Health Human Service Workers

BSHS 471

Skills and Characteristics of Mental Health Human Service Workers Skills and characteristics are essential in the Human Service Profession to be efficient in helping the clients. The Human Service Professional is a one of a kind individual, which requires skills and certain characteristics that very few people have. This paper will discuss the skills and characteristics and the definition of the two which are essential in this field, as well as the writer’s skills and characteristics that will lead to a successful career as a Human Service Professional. According to "Merriam Webster" (2014) the definition of skill is “the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice” (skill).
According to "Merriam Webster" (2014) the definition of characteristic is “a special quality or trait that makes a person, thing, or group different from others” (characteristic) Working in the Human Services field can be a very stressful and over whelming job for many people. I believe that there are people that were born to help others and those that have been taught to be caring and compassionate. While not every person is cut out to be on the front line of this field, those that are become very skillful people. It takes a special person to be willing to give up their lives and time to help others and to not make a lot of money is a characteristic he or she has naturally. This group of individuals has a unique personality that is not learned or handed out to everyone. The people that work in the Human Services field are a special group of people that help to make our current world a better place. Education and training is just the beginning of what is needed to be successful in the Human Service field. Passion is a key requirement for both the client as well as the Human Service professional. A Human Service Worker must be able to put personal prejudices aside to be able to help his or her client in the appropriate manner. As a Human Service Worker putting aside personal prejudices does not mean he or she should put aside common sense. Ethics are another key point to be successful, without ethics one truly cannot see the entire big picture. Having the ability to freely see the big picture is a skill that is necessary to be effective in this field. Also having the ability of being non judgmental is another key point, The Human service Professional is seeing the client or helping the client for a reason, the last thing the client needs is to be told that what they did was wrong, or insinuated in any way that he or she messed up or is less than anyone else. Education is an important key to this field, this does not always mean by the books either. Some things need to be from experience, whether professional or personal. Listening skills are a key element, because sometimes your client might be talking or not being direct and you need to be able to read between the lines or assist him or her to express what needs to be said. In order to become a successful Human Service Worker, he or she will need to have emotional maturity as well as experience. Skills should be developed to help in the formation of a successful Human Services Professional by taking classes, furthering education, training courses, and professional and personal experience, also attending seminars and becoming an active member in the community. It is essential to stay up to date with the changes that take place in this field, as there are consistent changes. The Human Service Professional will need to know what the latest studies are in the field, as well as the latest treatment plans that can assist the Human Service Worker to do their job more effectively and efficiently. Also this will help assist the worker to have an open mind on the different styles and techniques that could be utilized. Since every client will be different, having these skills and abilities will help aide the client and professional. A person having the ability to be a natural born helper is a characteristic, but including passion with that characteristic is a skill. These two combined is of importance in this field to not become overwhelmed or burnout. Human Service Workers need to know when to draw the line to leave work at work, and thus takes skill. Since this profession can be overwhelming it is important for the Human Service Professional to be patient. Patience is a skill needed in this profession as well. A person can be taught the other skills needed in this field, as well as utilize the professional and personal experience he or she will gain. There are many skills and characteristics a Human Service Professional needs to have to be successful in this field. The skills and characteristics that the Human Service Worker has or acquires will not work without passion. The best part of this field is helping people, but it is done through a reflection. If the Human Service Worker has no passion the client will see it. Success can be measured in many different ways and be seen in many different ways, passion is success. Passion will drive a person to succeed in whatever he or she is passionate about. Another key skill is ethical standards. According to "National Organization for Human Services" (N.D.), “Human Services is a profession developing in response to and in anticipation of the direction of human needs and human problems in the late twentieth century. Characterized particularly by an appreciation of human beings in all of their diversity, human services offers assistance to its clients within the context of their community and environment. Human service professionals and those who educate them, regardless of whether they are students, faculty or practitioners, promote and encourage the unique values and characteristics of human services. In so doing human service professionals and educators uphold the integrity and ethics of the profession, partake in constructive criticism of the profession, promote client and community well-being, and enhance their own professional growth. Human service professionals function in many ways and carry out many roles. They enter into professional-client relationships with individuals, families, groups and communities who are all referred to as "clients" in these standards. Among their roles are caregiver, case manager, broker, teacher/educator, behavior changer, consultant, outreach professional, mobilize, advocate, community planner, community change organizer, evaluator and administrator. The ethical guidelines presented are a set of standards of conduct which the human service professionals and educators consider in ethical and professional decision making. It is hoped that these guidelines will be of assistance when human service professionals and educators are challenged by difficult ethical dilemmas. Although ethical codes are not legal documents, they may be used to assist in the adjudication of issues related to ethical human service behavior” (Para. 1, 2). Cultural sensitivity is another key skill a Human Service Professional will need to utilize. According to "Community Tool Box" (2013), “Culture is defined as the shared traditions, beliefs, customs, history, folklore, and institutions of a group of people. Culture is shared by people of the same ethnicity, language, nationality, or religion. It's a system of rules that are the base of what we are and affect how we express ourselves as part of a group and as individuals. We all develop in some type of culture. Our environment determines what we learn, how we learn it, and the rules for living with others. These rules are transmitted from one generation to the next and are often adapted to the times and locale. The rules are absorbed by children as they develop, whether through word-of-mouth or just "osmosis."Organizations have a "culture" of policies, procedures, programs, and processes, and incorporate certain values, beliefs, assumptions, and customs. Organizational cultures largely echo mainstream culture in its sense of time orientation, perception, and use of time. An organizational culture may not lend itself to cultural competence, so that's where skill building comes in. A culturally competent organization brings together knowledge about different groups of people -- and transforms it into standards, policies, and practices that make everything work’ (Para. 2). Time Management is another key skill, since the professional will have various clients’ time management is a must. It would get overwhelming if the Human Service professional has no time management as well as some organizational skills. These to skills go hand in hand and can be learned along his or her career path, but he or she will have to have some basics skills of time management and organizational to get started. According to Career Success for Newbie’s it gives four reasons why time management is important. Saing (2006-2013), “1. Helps You Prioritize well, time management is important because it helps you prioritize your work. Once you have a list of things you need to tackle, you need to see what you should do first. What are those that are important and time sensitive. That way, you set out to do those first.
2. Get More Done In Less Time the other reason why time management is important is that you will get more done in less time. When you plan your time, you will see the amount of work that needs to be tackled. That puts into context how much time you need. Inevitably, you will know not to laze your time away.
3. More Quality Work when you plan your time you are making wise investment of a very limited resource – time. Knowing what to work on, when and how much time you have to finish the work makes you more focused. That focus on the work ensures that you get more quality work out. | |
4. Keeps Things In Context
Sometimes you may hear people complaining that there is no balance in their lives’ (Para. 1-4). A crucial skill that I believe is of great importance is crisis intervention According to Kanel (2002) “The term crisis has been defined in many ways, but an actual crisis has essentially three parts. The definition reflecting these three is called the trilogy definition and is referred to throughout this book. The three aspects of a crisis are these: (1) A precipitating event occurs; (2) the perception of this event leads to subjective distress; and (3) usual coping methods fail, leading the person experiencing the event to function psychologically, emotionally, or behaviorally at a lower level than before the precipitating event occurred” (Chapter 1). As a Human Service Professional he or she will need the training and skills to be able to handle a crisis or emergency situation. Human service Professional should take classes or seminars on a regular basis to keep manifest these skills. I also recommend staying current on CPR and first-aid as well. I have developed a variety of skills to assist in the success of my career; however I believe I was born with natural characteristics to have the passion to want to help others. During my education and field experience I was taught about the importance of developing skills to aide my career in this field. One skill I was taught was having empathy and not sympathy, this is one skill I was not born with. Naturally I tend to have sympathy rather than empathy and it is a crucial skill that is needed. Another skill I learned was becoming aware of my own behaviors and reactions, so they will not reflect on the client. In my field experiences I had to remain constantly aware of my actions and reactions so it would not spill over to the client. Another skill that I was born with was the ability of influence. My education in this field taught me the tools to demonstrate that ability not for personal gain, but rather utilizing it to positively influence the client’s perspectives. There are so many skills utilized in this field and are essential. I have named the ones I feel like are more important as well as the characteristics, however the Professional will develop various ones along his or her career path. I have had the desire to want to help others since I was very young. It gives me a since of completeness as well as satisfies the desires of my heart. I enjoy helping people and I have a deep passion for it, but unfortunately I have made some mistakes in the past that will hinder my future in this field. I believe in second chances which are exactly why I know I would be very successful in this field. It is unfortunate that I have had a few challenges myself, but I am a very optimistic person and believe that challenges can be overcome. With passion anything is possible as well as determination. Of course I have thought about giving up or changing my Major for my Masters Degree, however Human Services is where my heart is at. For my Masters Degree I have been considering Business Management, however I know this is not where my heart is. I am a manager now and although I love my job, it does not give me a since of completeness. I will continue to search for a chance in the Human Services field and remain optimistic for my future. I know whatever field I do chose I will be successful. Since I have made mistakes in the past, believe it or not it has helped brighten my future. I now have goals and I strive for better every day, because I know where I have been and exactly where I will not go back. I will be successful. Now you have read the key points that are important and needed to be a successful Human Service Professional. The definition of skills and characteristics were defined. The key skills and characteristics of what is needed to work in the field have been discussed. Also it has been discovered that there are natural born helpers in the field as well. Finally, I highlighted the skills and characteristics I have developed or was born with in my life that qualifies me to become an exceptional Human Service Professional. My life situation was also discussed and where my current degree is going.

References
Merriam Webster. (2014).
Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/characteristic
Merriam Webster. (2014).
Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skill Community Tool Box. (2013).
Retrieved from http://ctb.ku.edu/en//tablecontents/sub_section_main_1176.htm National Organization for Human services. (N.D.). Retrieved from http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards-for-hs-professionals Saing, L. Y. (2006-2013). Career Success for Newbie’s.
Retrieved from http://www.career-success-for-newbies.com/why-is-time-management-important.htm
Kanel, K. (2002). A Guide to Crisis Intervention.
Retrieved from http://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/eReader.aspx?assetMetaId=b121bfde-aa2d-4828-8ccc-964199f1e911&assetDataId=b5c5b23f-7d0a-47e0-bfad-69aa279e1600&assetpdfdataid=cdd8a088-2a67-4ffc-934a-f6c4195713d8.…...

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